New Delhi: The United Kingdom Home Office on Thursday officially opened its new post-study work visa for international students, which would offer overseas graduates from India and other destinations the option to apply for the right to stay on for job experience at the end of their university courses.
The Graduate route visa which was announced last year by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, is now open for applications from this week and is expected to particularly benefit Indian students, who are known to choose their degree courses based on the prospect of work experience.
The Graduate route is designed for international graduates who have been awarded their degree from a recognised UK university to stay on and look for work for at least two years.
“Under the UK Government’s points-based immigration system, talented students from India and across the globe now have the opportunity to kick start their careers in the UK at the highest levels of business, science, technology and the arts,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement.
“Once they’ve received their world-leading qualification from one of our fantastic education institutions, this new visa will give them the freedom to fulfil their aspirations and advance their careers,” she added.
Jan Thompson, Acting British High Commissioner to India said: “The numbers show that UK universities are already a popular destination for Indian students, who contribute immensely to the unique living bridge that exists between the UK and India.”
“The Graduate route will further help students who wish to stay and work in the UK, strengthening this bond between our two countries even more. Cooperation in higher education is one of the crucial commitments in the UK and India’s 2030 Roadmap, and this is another positive step in that direction,” she said further.
While Barbara Wickham, Director India, British Council said: “It is really heartening to see the response from Indian students who have placed their trust in a UK education to shape their careers. The UK is equally committed to enabling Indian students to realise their dreams through the benefits of the Graduate Route. It’s testament to both countries’ continued focus on realising their mutual knowledge ambitions in a fast evolving world.”
“The British Council is engaging with Indian students who plan to pursue a UK education this autumn by organising webinars and Facebook lives to provide all the information prospective students need.”
The British High Commission’s release further stated that the launch of the new Graduate route shows the UK Government’s commitment to attracting talented individuals from India and across the globe to bring their talent to the UK and develop their skills further.
It is also an important step in the UK-India 2030 Roadmap, launched by Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson in May 2021, which will deepen the institutional relationships between the UK and India, including between Governments, the private sector, higher education and civil society.
For the first time, the vast majority of applicants to the Graduate route will be able to apply in a fully digital way, using the UK Immigration: ID Check smartphone app. Successful applicants will be issued with an eVisa, and be able to conveniently access this status whenever needed to prove their rights in the UK. This is a more convenient application process which means applicants will not have to visit a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service or re-submit their biometrics. Customers who cannot use the app can still apply online but will need to visit a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service.
This change stands to benefit tens of thousands of students from India.
In the last year, more than 56,000 Indian nationals were granted a Student visa – a 13 per cent increase on the previous year and almost a quarter of all Student visas the UK issued.